Live online video will bring Wednesday’s Arsenal FC vs. AS Monaco Champions League matchup to U.S. viewers, who will get a chance to see Arsenal’s longtime manager, Arsene Wenger, face the club where he first made his mark as a football innovator.
The Round of 16 first-leg match favors Arsenal, who will be playing in the familiar surroundings of their own Emirates Stadium in North London, where they hope to establish a comfortable lead to take into the second leg at Monaco’s Stade Louis II on March 17.
Wenger has helmed Arsenal since 1996, guiding the storied club to three Premier League titles — including the remarkable “Invincibles” run in the 2003/04 season when Arsenal did not lose once in their 38 league matches. Wenger’s Arsenal has also tallied five FA Cup trophies and are the current holder and favorites to retain the Cup.
Also under Wenger’s management, Arsenal have qualified for the UEFA Champions League in each of the last 17 seasons — giving Wenger the perhaps unenviable record of managing the most Champions League games without ever winning the title. Arsenal got to the final in 2006 but fell to Barcelona.
But before arriving at Arsenal — and prior to a one-year hiatus as manager of the Japanese league club Nagoya Grampus Eight — Wenger spent seven years as manager of AS Monaco, in the French League 1.
He took Monaco to the League 1 title in 1988, but never finished higher than second place after that.
Wenger has served the longest tenure of any Arsenal manager — and he still holds the same claim at Monaco. Wednesday’s Arsenal vs. AS Monaco match will mark the first time in Champions League history that two teams with the same longest-standing manager have faced off — and Wenger is still firmly in place at Arsenal.
In a summer friendly match, Monaco defeated Arsenal at The Emirates, 1-0, but far more is at stake in a Champions League match, and Wenger — whose side now occupies third on the Barclays Premier League table — has warned his squad not to take Monaco, who are now fourth in League 1, too lightly.
“This is a 50-50 game. We know that Monaco are very tight defensively — they didn’t concede in the group stage against good teams,” Wenger said Monday. “They came back into a good position in the league and their confidence level will be high.”
AS Monaco features leading scorer Dimitar Berbatov, who proved a thorn in Arsenal’s side during his stint at arch-rival Tottenham Hotspur from 2006 to 2008.
Watch live online video of the Arsenal FC Vs. AS Monaco UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match starting at 2:30 p.m. United States Eastern Time via Fox Sports Go by clicking on this link, or on mobile devices by downloading the Fox Sports Go app.
[Image: Michael Regan/Getty Images]